Things I Learned From The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy

Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy Sam Maggs Book Cover Review

Hi friends! I haven’t done a “Things I Learned From…” feature since my first one on Yes Please, so I thought I’d pick it up again for a book I absolutely adored: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs! The thing I loved most about the book is how empowering it is: there’s absolutely no shame in liking what you like, so go ahead and flaunt it!

Here are some of the things I learned…

1. Comfortable shoes are essential at Cons (and other great tips).

I’ve never been to a convention before, but I have dreams of going to Book Expo America one day. I feel so prepared now after reading Maggs’ section on how to survive conventions! Other useful information include: which convention is the best match for you, how to prepare for a convention, and how to have the absolute best time while you’re there. Do you have any Convention-going tips?

2. Never feel ashamed about Instagramming selfies (geeky or otherwise).

“People might try to make you feel guilty for ‘gramming your gorgeous face all the time, but you know what? You feel good about the way you look, and that is always worth sharing.”

Amen to that!

3. The “ship name” for Peeta and Katniss fans from The Hunger Games is…

…Peeniss. Yep. So immature of me to laugh so hard, but there you go. Do you have a favourite “ship”?

If you’re unfamiliar with “ships,” it’s basically the short form for “relationship” and is used to describe a pair of characters that you really want to get together. And if it’s the first time you’re learning about this, fear not! Maggs has a whole section in Fangirl’s Guide dedicated to decoding “fangirl-speak.”

4. Be yourself and don’t be ashamed to like the things you like.

I’d have to say that this is my biggest takeaway from this book. I love how Maggs reiterates this throughout and encourages her readers to really “own” the things they love. She also includes a section on how to deal with trolls, which is really wonderful for when you need to stand up for yourself!

All in all, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy was a great read. It made me proud to be a fangirl, and I can only hope that many generations of fangirls to come will read this book and be inspired to flaunt their geekiness in whichever way they want (as long as it doesn’t harm others, of course)! Whether you’re a proud fangirl or a newcomer hoping to join a community of like-minded friends, this book is a great place to start.

Have you read The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy? Are you a fangirl? (If so, what’s your “fandom”?)

Things I Learned from Amy Poehler’s Yes Please

Things I Learned from Amy Poehler's Yes Please

I would call myself somewhat of an Amy Poehler fan, though I knew next to nothing about her participation in the Upright Citizens Brigade (both the sketch group and theatre), her recurring roles on Saturday Night Live, or her work with Smart Girls at the Party before reading her memoir Yes Please. I was, however, familiar with her work on Parks and Rec prior to reading the book and have always admired how she seems to really care about promoting other women’s work, especially when it comes to up-and-coming comedy groups (Broad City, anyone?). So to say I had high hopes for Yes Please is a slight understatement, but I am thrilled to tell you that I was not disappointed.

On Monday, I mentioned a new feature I was working on for my blog. Well, I’m excited to say: this is it! I was inspired by the many things I learned from Yes Please and so I thought I would pull my favourite lessons from it to share with you all. Without further ado…

1. Decide what your currency is early. Let go of what you will never have. People who do this are happier and sexier. (p 21)

One thing I love about Amy is that she is not known for being conventionally beautiful. Instead, she’s loved for her sense of humour, her contributions to the improv world, and her writing. That is her currency. I find it so inspiring that there’s such a strong voice encouraging woman (and anyone, for that matter) that looks aren’t the only important thing. You can also be smart, hardworking, and funny. What’s my currency? I haven’t quite landed on it, but thanks to Amy, I feel like I’m closer to figuring it out.

2. Treat your career like a bad boyfriend. (p 217)

In this section of the book, Amy goes against the grain a bit. Instead of pushing the idea that “as long as you really want it, you can get it!”, she advocates “practic[ing] ambivalence.” She writes, “…your career is a bad boyfriend. It likes when you don’t depend on it. It will reward you every time you don’t act needy. It will chase you if you act like other things (passion, friendship, family, longevity) are more important to you” (p 225).

As someone who is just entering the “looking for a career” stage in my life, this is very interesting to me. I have always really wanted things. I wonder how things would change if I switched up my thinking a bit.

3. You can travel back and forth by living in the moment and paying attention. (p 280)

This was a more abstract chapter, but the stories Amy shares when explaining what she means when she says time travel is real convinced me that she’s right. Perhaps it’s not real in the physical sense, but emotionally, yes. This chapter taught me to live in the moment and pay attention to every small detail, whether they’re happy or not. Remembering the little things gives us our time travel wings – and once you get there, it’ll be magical. (In fact, writing this blog post and re-reading parts of the book has brought me back to this past Christmas, when I was snuggled in bed reading those words for the first time, feeling absolutely content and peaceful. Time travel is real. It really is.)

Yes Please was more than just a celebrity memoir for me. Yes, I found out more about Amy Poehler’s history and rise to fame, but I also learned valuable lessons that have inspired me in many ways. The points I shared here are just small samplers of the wisdom Amy imparts. I hope it moves you to give this book a chance so you can laugh and learn from it like I did.

Are you a fan of Amy Poehler? Have you read Yes Please? Did you learn anything new today (bookish or otherwise)?